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Old 11-17-2007, 03:12 PM
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December 2007 Newsletter - Holidays

In November, it was a year since we first returned to the practice of having the newsletters be monthly instead of being only occasional. In the time that has passed, we've produced newsletters on Royalty from A-Z, Round Royal birthdays, Sailing royals, Queen Victoria and King Christian's descendants, and a multitude of other things. We hope you've enjoyed them.

In 2004 the TRF team, spearheaded by, then, administrator Alexandria and supermoderator GrandDuchess, produced an extensive newsletter on how royals celebrate Christmas, and how it is done in the different countries. It would be foolish of us to make the attempt to replicate it.

As a Norwegian I (norwegianne) am always astonished the first time every year when I run into people who prefer to use the term Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. Norway is a rather homogenous society, and you don't have to be a very religious person to wish someone God Jul, which is what Merry Christmas is translated as in the Norwegian-English dictionary.

But when I give it a bit of thought, I can see that the translation, while being idiomatic, is not really correct. Norwegians wish each other "Good Yule," and it is a reminder from the time before Christianity was introduced in Northern Europe.

The point of all this, is to introduce the topic of December. Not everybody celebrates Christmas. We have several royal families, as well as members, here on the forums who aren't Christian, but Muslim, Hindu, Shinto or maybe something else entirely. We have therefore chosen to use the December newsletter to focus on holidays and traditions connected to some of the non-Western royal families.

Happy holidays,
Avalon & Zonk
Old 11-17-2007, 03:26 PM
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The Administrators are happy to welcome Her_Majesty, dazzling and LadyK to the moderating team. To always get the updated version of who is on the moderating team - take a look here.

Another change is that we've increased the numbers of forums overall. Some subforums, The Royal Family of Morocco and the Ruling families of the United Arab Emirates, were "promoted" into forums, and we hope that this will inspire you to take a look and see if there is anything interesting going on there. We also changed the main structure of the forum, so that the Ruling Families and the Non-Reigning families each have a section. This promoted subforums such as, for example, the French royalty, the Italian royalty and the Russian royalty. If you're into history, or the current descendants of some of these historic monarchies, we suggest taking a look and see if there is anything of interest. If you have a question about something not mentioned - why not start a new thread on the topic?

With the expansion of forums, and the expansion of the membership, the administrators are, as always, on the lookout for potential moderators - if you think you have what it takes, or some suggestions on who you think might make a good moderator, please take a look at this.

The Articles we've talked so much were launched earlier this month - take a look for yourself. A link to The Royal Articles has also been added in the blue top-bar, between the portal link and the link to the Royal Calendar. Enjoy.
Old 11-17-2007, 03:26 PM
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November 2nd - Queen Sofia of Spain
November 2nd - David Armstrong Jones, Viscount Linley
November 5th - Fawzia Shirin
November 5th - Prince Kubrat, Prince of Panagiurishte
November 6th - Infante Henrique, Duke of Coimbra
November 8th - Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor
November 11th - Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg
November 12th - Alexander Ogilvy
November 14th - Prince Charles of Wales
November 15th - Princess Elene of Romania
November 15th - Abdel of Jordan
November 15th - Peter Phillips
November 16th - Princess Sana of Jordan
November 18th - Lady Davina Lewis
November 19th - Princess Theodora of Liechtenstein
November 19th - Prince Umberto of Bulgaria
November 19th - Princess Sofia of Bulgaria
November 20th - Crown Prince Otto von Habsburg
November 20th - Alexandra Princess zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
November 20th - Maria Teresa Sartorius y de Liechtenstein
November 24th - Princess Isabelle of Liechtenstein
November 25th - Infante Dinis, Duke of Porto
November 26th - Louis Robert Paul Ducruet
November 27th - Princess Désirée of Hohenzollern
November 28th - Emma Francisca of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven
November 28th - Prince Hitachi of Japan
November 28th - Princess Lillian of Sweden
November 30th - Prince Akishino of Japan

Wedding Anniversaries
November 4 -
November 4 -
November 6 -
November 6 -
November 14 -
November 15 -
November 18 -
November 20 -
Diamond Wedding Celebrations
November 26 -

Death Anniversaries
November 7th - Queen Ingrid of Denmark
November 28th - Queen Wilhemina of the Netherlands
November 28th - Princess Sybilla of Sweden

State/Official Visits
14-16: Felipe and Letizia's Offical trip to China
22-23: State Visit from Luxembourg to Chile
25: The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visited Turkey
26-29: State Visit from Luxembourg to Brazil

Notable Events
1: Crown Prince Haakon of Norway ends his visit in Burundi for UNDP
3: - Dutch Royals at Make a Difference Day
5-6: - The Spanish king and queen visited the cities of Ceuta and Melilla.
5-7: Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway visits Nicaragua for UNAIDS
5-8: - Crown prince Frederik, King Harald, and Constantine of the Hellenes as well as his wife attended the conference on sailing.
6: - Opening of Parliament in Britain.
6-7: - Stephanie of Monaco visited Madagascar
8-10: King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia attend the Ibero-American summit in Chile.
13: - Infanta Elena and her husband are separating, was confirmed by the Spanish court.
15: King's Feast in Belgium A feast held in the King's honour.
19: - Monaco's National Day on November 19. - Events and discussion leading up to The Diamond anniversary celebrations of the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen
Old 11-17-2007, 03:26 PM
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1st - Princess Aiko of Japan (2001)
2nd - Princess Lea of Belgium (1951)
2nd - Prince Kardam, Prince of Turnovo (1962)
2nd - Prince Mikasa of Japan (1915)
3rd - Prince Sverre Magnus of Norway (2005)
3rd - Duke of Anhalt (1941)
3rd - Infante Miguel, Duke of Viseu (1946)
5th - King Rama IX of Thailand (1927)
5th - Prince Konstantin-Assen, Prince of Vidin (1967)
6th - Prince Nikolaus of Liechetenstein (2000)
6th - Pablo Nolás Urdangarín y Bórbon (2000)
7th - Princess Bhajara Kittiyabha of Thailand (1978)
7th - Princess Catharina Amalia of the Netherlands (2003)
9th- Crown Princess Masako of Japan (1963)
9th - Prince Joachim of Belgium (1991)
12th - Princess Purnika of Nepal (2000)
13th - Prince Nicolas and Prince Aymeric of Belgium (2005)
14th - Princess Olimpia of Bulgaria (1995)
16th - Archduke Lorenz of Habsburg-Este, Prince of Belgium (1955)
20th - Infanta Elena of Spain, Duchess of Lugo (1963)
20th - Princess Akiko of Mikasa (1981)
21st - Estella Taylor (2004)
22nd - Queen Silvia of Sweden (1943)
22nd - The Margravine of Meißen (1940)
23rd - Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia (1953)
23rd - Emperor Akihito of Japan (1933)
23rd - Prince Ali of Jordan (1975)
25th - Prince Bernhard of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven (1969)
25th - Queen Alia of Jordan (1948)
25th - Princess Alexandra of Kent (1936)
26th - Cassius Taylor (1996)
27th - Princess Antoinette, Baroness of Massy (1920)
28th - Princess Vittoria Cristina Adelaide Chiara Maria of Savoy (2003)
29th - Princess Kako of Japan (1994)
30th - Crown Prince Paras of Nepal (1971)
31st- Carlos Morales Quintana (1970)


Dec 4 -
Dec 4- (2006)
Dec 10 -
Dec 12 - HRH The Princess Royal of Great Britain and Timothy Laurence
Dec 15 -
Dec 19 - HIH Prince Charles Napoleon & Princess Beatrice of Borbon-Two Sicilies (1978)
Dec 21 - Mohammed Reza and Farah Pahlavi (1959)
Dec 31 -

Death Anniversaries

1st - Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands died in 2004
7th - Prince Shahryar Shafiq died in 1979
21st - Count Lennart Bernadotte died in 2004
25th - Emperor Taisho of Japan died in 1926

State Visits:
December 3-5: State Visit to Spain from the Philippines
December 3-6: State Visit to Jordan from Bulgaria

Other events of note:

2nd - Opening of the Jordanian Parliament
10th - Nobel ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo

Norwegian Christmas 2007
British Christmas at Sandringham
Countess of Wessex expecting second baby in December 2007
Old 11-28-2007, 07:51 AM
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December 2007 Newsletter - Thai Holidays

Loy Krathong
The festival of lights, here as portrayed by Haakon and Mette-Marit’s participation in 2004 is a Buddhist festival celebrated in the 12th month of the Thai Lunar Calendar (November in the Western calendars). The festival has its roots in old royal rituals, Jong Priang, Lote Choot, Loi Khome Long Nam, of the Rattanakosin period. In the old royal rituals, the court would pay homage to the Brahmin gods and godesses, by floating lit lanterns on the waterways. The festival evolved into today’s festival which is said to be more about simplicity of the life beyond the palace walls.

Chakri Memorial Day
The Coronation day of King Rama I., the first king of the Chakri dynasty.

The Thai New Year
Thailand aligned their calendar with the western in terms of the New Year celebrations, but The Sonhkran Festival still marks the old Thai New Year. It is in April, and lasts for three days. It is also known as the Water festival as people throw water on each other to wash away any bad luck so they can start fresh in the New Year.

The Royal Ploughing Ceremony
The Royal Ploughing Ceremony, or Phraraj Pithi Jarod Phranangkal Raek Na Kwan, date back to before Buddha. It is designed to predict the crop season, and the amount of rain one can expect. The ceremony entails ploughing with a sacred plough drawn by sacred white bulls. The King is usually the Ploughing Lord. In recent years, however, the Crown Prince has been instructed by the king to take over these ceremonial duties of the ploughing ceremony. In 2007 he was accompanied by HRH Princess Srirasm, HRH Princess Bhajrakitiyabha and HRH Princess Sirivannavari at the Royal Field in Bangkok

Other holidays
The Birthdays of the King and Queen are also national holidays in Thailand and the buildings of the country are adorned with lights and decorations.
Old 12-01-2007, 07:47 PM
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Festivals and celebrations are very common in Japan and occur for one reason or other all year round. The following celebrations are specifically associated with the winter months or with the Imperial family.

New Year Celebrations (Oshōgatsu) (1 January)

The New Year holiday is one of the biggest holidays of the entire year. Businesses and schools close over New Year, and the holiday runs from 1 to 3 January. On New Year's Day, people visit shrines to pray for health and happiness throughout the coming year, and exchange New Year's cards much like people in the West exchange Christmas cards. It's also traditional to give money to children. There are traditional foods for new year, called osechi ryori, which are prepared and placed in nested boxes at the end of the previous year so that people can enjoy the new year celebrations without having to spend time cooking; the food is specially chosen so that it doen't spoil easily, and includes sweet black beans, a variety of fish, shellfish, and fish paste, rolled omelette, seaweed, and pickled vegetables. The New Year celebration is a time for families to get together and look forward to the coming year.

Imperial New Year's Poetry Reading (Utakai Hajime)

The new year's poetry reading is one of the traditional activities for the new year, and the Imperial family hold a new year's poetry reading at the Imperial Palace in January each year. The Emperor and Empress and other members of the family attend the reading, and poems composed by members of the Imperial family are read out to the invited participants after the reciting of poems composed by poets and members of the public and selected by a panel of poets, who also select the topic for the poems. The event has grown in recent years and is also televised.

Imperial New Year's Lectures (Kousho Hajime)

The Imperial new year's lectures are held at the Imperial Palace in January each year. The Emperor and Empress and other members of the imperial family, as well as senior politicians and civil servants, attend the lectures, which are given by experts in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. This tradition dates back to the Meiji Restoration in 1869.

National Foundation Day (Kenkoku Kinen-bi) (11 February)

The founding of the nation of Japan is celebrated on 11 February, which is believed to be the date of the enthronement of the first Japanese emperor, Emperor Jinmu. The holiday dates back to 1873, when the Gregorian calendar was adopted; at that time it was known as Kigen-setsu. It was abolished after the Second World War, but in 1966 it was introduced in its present form, which is considerably more low-key and less nationalistic.

Shōwa Day (Shōwa No Hi) (29 April)

Although traditionally only the current emperor's birth is celebrated as a national holiday, the birthday of Emperor Hirohito (Emperor Shōwa), the father of the present emperor, has recently become a holiday. This day used to be Greenery Day (another national holiday); Greenery Day is now celebrated on 4 May. Both Shōwa Day and Greenery Day occur during "Golden Week" (the name given to the week including the end of April and the beginning of May, which contains several national holidays).

Constitution Memorial Day (Kenpo Kinenbi) (3 May)

This is one of the festivals of Golden Week; it celebrates the adoption of the new constitution on 3 May 1947. Among the celebrations are lectures and newspaper essays on democracy; the National Diet Building is opened to the public on this day.

Culture Day (Bunka No Hi) (3 November)

The Culture Day holiday is a celebration of Japanese culture and arts. It dates from the Meiji Restoration in 1869 and is held on the birthday of Emperor Meiji (the great-grandfather of the current emperor). During Emperor Meiji's lifetime, this holiday was the Emperor's Birthday holiday (which is now held on 23 December, the birthday of the current emperor). The announcement of the new postwar constitution was made on 3 November 1946, and the Culture Day holiday therefore also acknowledges the values enshrined in the constitution. On Culture Day, the Emperor presents the Order of Culture awards to individuals who have made special contributions to the fields of culture, arts, and sciences.

Emperor's Birthday (Tenno No Tanjobi) (23 December)

The birthday of Emperor Akihito on 23 December is a national holiday. This holiday is only for the birthday of the current emperor, so at the start of the next reign the holiday will move to a different day. Since the birthdays of Emperor Meiji and Emperor Shōwa are now the dates of other holidays, it is possible that 23 December will also become a permanent holiday of some sort in the future.

Christmas (25 December)

Christmas is not a traditional Japanese holiday, but it's celebrated by many Japanese these days with exchanges of gifts, decoration of homes and especially stores, and special food. Japanese Christmas cake is made with sponge cake, strawberries, and cream - a very different tradition from the Western fruit cake.

New Year's Eve Celebrations (Ōmisoka) (31 December)

The New Year's Eve celebration is a preparation for the major New Year's celebration which occupies the first few days of January. It involves cleaning house thoroughly and preparing the food to be consumed over the New Year's holiday. Traditionally, buckwheat noodles (which are supposed to ensure a healthy and prosperous year) are eaten on the evening of 31 December. At midnight, the bells in the shrines are rung 108 times to symbolise the driving out of earthly passions and to announce the New Year.
Old 12-04-2007, 06:17 AM
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With many thanks to Humera, for providing an insight into the Islamic holidays, and posters Ephram and shrifia who helped out with the Malaysian the Morocco Royal Family, respectively.


RAMADAN is the ninth month of the lunar Islamic calendar. The Quran, the holy Book of Islam, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during this month.
During this month, fasting is obligatory on every able-bodied Muslim. Ramadan is a time to practice self-control in all areas of life, to worship, contemplate, and give generously to the poor and less fortunate.
Each day during Ramadan begins with sohour (an early meal eaten just before dawn at the start of every fast) after which those who are fasting refrain from eating or drinking until the iftar (breaking of the fast) meal at sunset.
Teraweeh are special evening prayers held every night throughout the month of Ramadan. The night of the 27th of Ramadan is known as Laylat-al-Qadr or the Night of Power. On this night, Muslims believe that God first revealed the Quran to Prophet Muhammad. Muslims traditionally spend this night in prayer and study, many often choose to stay up the entire night and study the Quran.

EID-UL-FITR (the Feast of Breaking the Fast) marks the end of Ramadan and lasts for 3 days. It begins with special communal prayers in the morning. This is traditionally followed by a visit, usually by the men, to the graves of family members where special prayers are said for the souls of the deceased. Eid is a joyous and festive occasion; people put on their best (usually new) clothes, spend the day visiting friends and family and enjoying specially prepared meals (specialty dishes and delicacies are prepared for Eid, these vary from one country to the next). Although gifts are often exchanged, children and as well as adults are traditionally given money by their elders. Eid cards are also exchanged with friends and family and Eid parties are held throughout the Eid season.
this is a good link and has details on how Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated in different countries.

HAJJ is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca and is obligatory on every able-bodied Muslim man and woman who can afford it. It is the fifth pillar of Islam and takes place during the month of Dhul Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar.

EID-UL-ADHA marks the end of the Hajj, it is a four-day long holiday and is celebrated in much the same way as Eid-ul-Fitr. The high point of the festival is the sacrifice of an animal (usually sheep or goat) which commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s (Abraham’s) willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail for God. The meat of the sacrificed animal is distributed among family, friends and the poor.

An excellent link on the major Islamic holidays
Old 12-04-2007, 06:21 AM
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Ramadan is a busy month for the Royal Family of Jordan. Members of the family make special visits to the needy and less fortunate during this month. There are visits to hospitals, orphanages, homes for the elderly and disabled, distributions of gifts and iftar receptions for Jordanians from all walks of life as well as foreign guests and dignitaries.
In the evening the King, accompanied by other members of the royal family, attends teraweeh prayers at the mosque.
The morning of Eid-ul-Fitr begins with special Eid prayers and a visit to the royal mausoleums.

King Abdullah and Queen Rania enjoy their sohour (pre-dawn) meal at Hashem Restaurant in downtown Amman during Ramadan 2006:

December 30, 2006 – King Abdullah performs Eid-ul-Adha prayers:

The Ramadan 2007 thread documents the activities of the Royal Family of Jordan during this year’s Ramadan season and on the day of Eid.


King Muhammad VI divides his time during Ramadan between his work as a monarch and his religious duties. He performs his daily prayers at the mosque; these include the Friday prayers, the teraweeh prayers. He also spends the entire Laylat-al-Qadr or Night of Power at the mosque.
The King travels a lot during Ramadan, inaugurating and checking social and charitable projects throughout the Kingdom.
Accompanied by family members, he also attends special lectures during Ramadan. These lectures are given by Islamic scholars from Morocco and other Muslim countries.

King Muhammad presides over religious lecture during Ramadan 2006:

and at another lecture with his brother Prince Rachid during Ramadan 2005:

An older picture of King Muhammad (then Crown Prince) and his brother Prince Rachid at a religious lecture during Ramadan:

King Muhammad VI arriving for Eid-ul-Fitr prayers on October 24, 2006:
He marked the occasion by granting a pardon to 617 prisoners.
Old 12-04-2007, 06:22 AM
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The Royal Family marks the arrival of Ramadan by distributing dates among the citizens of Brunei. Muslims traditionally eat dates during this Holy Month, particularly during the sohour and iftar meals, following a tradition established by the Prophet Muhammad himself.

Eid-ul-Fitr, or Hari Raya Aidilfitri, as it is known in Brunei and Malaysia, is marked by a special televised address by the Sultan.

On the morning of Eid, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and other members of the royal family take part in communal prayers at the mosque and then visit the Royal Mausoleums.

The doors of the Nurul Iman Palace are then opened for the Eid/Hari Raya open house. The open house is held for the duration of the three days of Eid and consists of morning, afternoon and evening sessions. During this time members of the royal family meet and greet people from all walks of life including government officials, diplomats, foreign guests and dignitaries.

During the Hajj season, members of the Royal Family once again open the palace doors for a meet and greet session for those people who intend to travel to Mecca for the annual pilgrimage. The Sultan also presents them with ihram (special robes worn by men and women during hajj) – Link: #37

Eid-ul-Fitr Open House – November 2004


Eid-ul-Fitr Open House – November 2005

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah at Eid-ul-Fitr prayers – October 2006
Old 12-04-2007, 06:23 AM
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Ramadan in Malaysia begins with an announcement of the commencement of the Holy Month made by The Keeper of the Ruler's Seal on behalf of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King of Malaysia) and all the 9 Malaysian rulers.

During the fasting month, the King and Queen attend iftar (breaking of the fast) receptions almost every day. They also host such receptions at the Royal Palace for ministers, members of parliament and foreign Muslim ambassadors. They also teraweeh prayers at the Throne Hall of the Palace. The King often joins congregations for prayer in the National Mosque and other mosques around the capital.

King attending Friday prayers during Ramadan 2007:

Nearly 3 days towards the end of Ramadan, the hotels around Kuala Lumpur present huge cakes to Their Majesties to be served during the day of Eid-ul-Fitr or Hari Raya:

On the first day of Eid the Prime Minister and his wife will be arrive at the Royal Palace early in the morning to have a special audience with the King and Queen. The two couples have breakfast together and are then driven in a royal convoy to the National Mosque for Eid prayers.

At 11am, the King and Queen receive foreign ambassadors and diplomats for a reception at the Throne Hall of the Royal Palace. During the reception their Majesties present gifts to all Palace officials and staff.

The other Sultans and Consorts celebrate in much the same way in their respective states. In several states such as Negeri Sembilan and Terengganu, there is a tradition of visiting the Royal Mausoleums after Eid prayers to recite prayers and pour petals of flowers and scented water on the graves of their ancestors.

Malaysia holds the celebrations of Eid for the entire month of Syawal. Royals can be seen attending many other open houses hosted by government agencies, companies or individuals.
Old 12-04-2007, 06:37 AM
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That brings us to the end of this newsletter; the last of 2007. We hope you've enjoyed all of them.

For those of you in the Northern hemisphere - have a good winter. For those of you in the Southern hemisphere… have a nice summer.
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